Monday, August 20 , 2018, 9:52 pm | A Few Clouds with Haze 67º


Local News

Local Real Estate Market Remains Healthy

The local area has seen only a 12 percent drop in values vs. 31 percent in general statewide.

With more than two sales per day, every day, in December and an overall eight-month supply of homes available in the area, the local real estate market is healthy.

Goleta has the tightest inventory with a four- to six-month supply. For prospective buyers wishing to own a home in the area, there are more homes to look at than in earlier years, although the inventory was down in December. It may mark a normal seasonal slowdown, or it may be an indication of a tighter market to come.

The Santa Barbara Multiple Listing Service shows 101 homes listed at $600,000 to $900,000, 24 from $400,000 to $500,000 and 13 for less than $500,000; 22 condos from $400,000 to $500,000, 12 from $300,000 to $400,000 and eight for less than $300,000.

Interest rates are at the high end of 4 percent, and lenders are looking at 401(k) for down-payment money options. For people paying more than $2,000 in rent, it may be the perfect climate to think about owning.

Sellers are enjoying the buyer’s ability to obtain reasonable financing that is easy to obtain when the loan amount is less than the conforming loan limit of $603,750. The higher loan limits have a few more hoops to jump through before obtaining financing; however, the money is available for those who know where to look for it. Professionals can help.

Overall, the local market is thriving with only a 12 percent drop in values compared with 31 percent in general for the California market, according to Leslie Appleton Young, chief economist for the California Association of Realtors. That drop is most felt in only 20 percent of the ZIP codes in the state, with Stockton and Riverside the hardest hit.

With the capital gains still intact at 15 percent, the 250 to 500 capital gains deduction for sellers and interest rates at 40-year lows, it’s a great time to take advantage of the market.

Elaine Abercrombie, a broker with Village Properties Realtors, is vice president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. She can be contacted at [email protected]

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